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wand'. Quite apart from the noise, moving this equipment through the library stacks
would be cumbersome. A third argument against Checkpoint's suggestion was the desire
not to make public the means by which library holdings are secured.
Check-out and check-in were made simpler with the new technology. In the case of
check-out, the process was as follows:
1. Use barcode reader for library card;
2. Pass book over staff station reader one at a time until transaction complete;
3. All Circulation stations with staff station readers are connected to the server; and,
4. Tag information is passed by the gates/antenna to the Server and added to the list of
checked-out items.
The new system was launched in October 2000, one month ahead of schedule.The
system was introduced to library visitors in three easy steps (1) touching screen and
checking library card; (2) passing items over shelf; and (3) collecting a printed receipt.
Among the reported positive results were:
- Check-in and check-out do not require the extra security step of sensitising and
- Healthier staff, due to the reduced motions involved in check-in and check-out;
- Simpler procedures, fewer steps in check-in and check-out;
- Easy self-check, special book and barcode positioning not necessary;
- Theft information, with information on the item that triggers the security gate;
- The ability to secure magnetic material without separate equipment, and new video
tag allows the tag to be placed inside the videocassette itself.
The library also expects further benefits:
- Future use of an inventory tracking device for quick and easy item information
- Future use of a sorting system, such as TechLogic.
It took about six months to convert 98% of the circulating books. A small number of
items were deliberately not tagged because they were in such poor condition or had a
very short expected lifespan.Videos, CDs and audio-books have taken longer, as these
were often on reserve.The variation in sizes, shapes and formats of audio-visual material
made affixing tags a challenge.
The library reported a tag failure rate of less than 1% overall. Some tags failed for
undetermined reasons. Some failures were attributed to `bad tags', and some to operator
error in the initial programming.Two of the staff station readers were found to be `less
sensitive' than the others, and would not read certain tags although when they were test-
ed on another machine the tags were read correctly.The technology provider replaced
these defective stations.The types of library materials which are more likely to have
failed tags include children's board and paperback books. Books with metallic covers pre-
vent the target from reading
; for those objects new covers were scanned and printed.
After one year of use, approximately 30% of the Library materials are checked-out
using the express check machines.This figure has been increasing each month, as more
patrons become familiar and comfortable with the machines.
Smart Labels
and Smart Tags
There are now tags that are specially designed to be used with metallic materials (see above).